Sunday, June 15, 2008

Keeping the Home--Cleaning

Before I dispense advice on general house cleaning, let me make one disclaimer.....I have a fabulous housekeeper, Mrs. Barnes. I am so blessed to have her! She is wonderful!

But, I have not always had household help, and I am teaching or have already taught my older children how to dust, sweep, mop, vacuum, and clean bathrooms. They will need these skills when they move out on their own, plus there are times now that we do all of these jobs in between times when Mrs. Barnes cleans.

When Jimmy and I were first married and until the time we had Olivia, I cleaned my whole house (well, apartment) in one day. After having children I realized that I no longer had one large block of time for house cleaning so for years I used one of two systems.

System 1:
I divided the house into 5 zones. 1--kitchen and laundry area, 2--den, 3--children's bedrooms and bathroom, 4--master bedroom and bath, 5--playroom, hallways, half bath. I cleaned every part of each zone a day. This would include dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, etc.

System 2:
I divided the cleaning into jobs. I would do 1 job throughout the house each day. 1--sweep/mop, 2--vacuum, 3--dust, 4--bathrooms, 5--kitchen counters and appliances.

When I teach the children how to do a certain job like clean a bathroom I type step by step directions for them.
I am also compiling a list of chores I want to be sure to teach them before they leave home. Some of these they have already learned. The list includes: changing air filters, cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer, washing and drying clothes, ironing, cleaning out the car, washing the car, washing windows, and cleaning the grill.

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